Audrain Agribusiness members are making final preparations for the celebration of Agribusiness Week, which starts this weekend in Mexico.
February 16-23 is national Agribusiness Week and this year's list of local celebration activities include family-oriented, entertaining events.
Ag Business Specialist Mary Sobba with the University of Missouri Extension in Audrain County said the purpose of the weeklong observation is to "help promote local agribusiness and to show appreciation to the customers."
Sobba said Audrain County started celebrating Agribusiness Week about 10 years ago, with different events over the years.
"The last few years we've done these activities we've had good turnout. We hope they will come out again and enjoy what we have planned."
This year's activities include:
Saturday, Feb. 16: Customer Appreciation Pancake Breakfast from 7-10 a.m. in the lower level of the Mexico United Methodist Church. Tickets are available from Audrain Agribusiness members.
Feb. 16-Feb. 23: Daily health screenings at Audrain Medical Center from 6-9 a.m. in the AMC main lab. Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL, Calculated LDL, and Glucose (blood sugar) tests will will be performed. The total cost for all tests is $12. Participants must not eat or drink for at least 12 hours prior to the tests. Water and black coffee are allowed.
Thursday, Feb. 21: Free Movie Night at Mexico Cinema 3, "We Bought a Zoo" (Rated PG); two shows at 5:30 and 7:45 p.m. One ticket admits an entire family.
Saturday, Feb. 23: Western Farm Show in Kansas City. Coach bus transportation and tickets into the Farm Show will be provided for Audrain County residents. Pre-registration is required. Out-of-county residents need to call for details. To register call the Audrain County Extension at (573) 581-3231. Note: Limited seating. Registrations are taken first come-first serve with a $10 per person deposit. Seats become reserved when deposit is received.
The history of agribusiness, Sobba said, goes back more than 20 years, likely during the Farm Crisis. At that time many districts of Missouri, and this area, were identified as agribusiness areas. Most are not active anymore. Audrain County, she said, is still thriving.
"This area is considered a hub for agriculture in this part of the state, and the members here use that to help the businesses and do various things to show customer appreciation. A lot of our activities focus on customers, but it's both the businesses and the customers we are honoring."
Audrain Agribusiness is guided by a board made up of representatives from area agriculture businesses. The annual Agribusiness Week activities are directed by the board and new membership is always welcome. The board also holds quarterly educational meetings, and welcomes educational speakers to help keep the local membership aware of what's going in the agricultural sector, Sobba said.
For more information about Agribusiness Week or to purchase tickets for the area events, call Sobba at (573) 581-3231.